Project 1: The Weight of Emptiness: Plaster Casts from Found Molds



To demonstrate the basic elements and principles of three-dimensional space you will create a sculpture(s) using solid, unsupported, plaster.  You will be introduced to the structural principles and communicative possibilities of plaster and the process of creating rigid plaster forms. Develop your ability to apply the formal visual principles – Balance, Texture, Sequence, Weight, Open/Closed Forms and Structural Dynamics. This object must demonstrate your understanding of a Non-Representational form vs. Representational form. Most importantly you will explore the conceptual and aesthetic possibilities inherent in using found objects as molds for casting plaster.



Step 1: Consider different techniques for working with plaster as pure form: carving, simple molds, modeling etc. Use any one of these methods discussed in class, or combine them as you see fit. This is an investigation into how the material works and doesn’t work. You do not necessarily need to have an idea to begin with. If you’re feeling stuck, sometimes the best thing to do is just get started and see where the process leads. Remember this form(s) needs to be non-representational in nature.


Step 2: Make sure you form is visually interesting and well composed.  Maintains visual integrity from multiple vantage points. Material is well handled. Makes creative use of demonstrated techniques. Surface responds to the project as a whole (rough where rough is appropriate, smooth where smooth, etc)


Step 3: You are certainly welcome to use molding devices but the form in its final presentation must be supported by nothing other than its own weight. Consider all the different forms possible with experimentation in molds. What types of devices could act as a mold and elicit an interesting positive form? A balloon, box with cereal in it, a hole in the ground, Pantyhose, etc. Anything that can be respectfully engaged as a mold is up for investigation! 


Step 4: Once you have explored what type of mold devices or carving you will employ create your objects. Consider these table or pedestal pieces, nothing grandiose in scale, think more intimate in size. No larger than 16 inches in the longest dimension. Of course I encourage you to make more than one form. Although only one is required.


Step 5: Once your form(s) is created clean it up by carefully polishing and then present it in the most crafted way possible.




Plaster, Found Objects

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© 2021 Dustin M. Price